5 Easy Tips For Better Digestion
Would you like to have better digestion? Imagine what it would be like to enjoy your meal, savour every bite, feel energized after the meal, have a great feeling of satiety in your stomach, and enjoy your time until you naturally feel hungry again? Feeling good does not include gas, burping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, nope, it does not. Check out the following tips – these are easy and simple to implement but oh, so effective.
DIGESTION TIP #1 – Start your day with a glass of warm (not boiling) water and lemon.
- Improves digestion
- Hydrates the body
- May help maintain healthy weight
- Gives immune system a little boost
- Liver and lymph system will thank you
- Helps stimulate proper stomach acid and bile production.
- 1 cup of warm (not boiling) water
- 1/2 organic lemon
- 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger root (optional)
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one-half into the water.
- Peel and slice the ginger root (if using) and add to the water.
To prevent citric acid staying on your teeth, rinse your mouth with clean water after drinking lemon water.
DIGESTION TIP #2 – Chew your food properly
- Digestion starts in the mouth. Saliva contains amylase digestive enzymes (amylase, lipase), which are responsible for breaking down fats, and starch into simpler sugars. This helps the process of digestion in the intestines.
- It breaks your food down from large particles into smaller particles that are more easily digested.
- This also makes it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients from the food particles
- It prevents improperly digested food from entering your blood and causing a wide range of adverse effects to your health.
- It slows down eating. Slower eating helps with portion control. It can help prevent overeating and therefore maintain a healthy weight.
- Aim to have reduced your mouthful to liquid mush before you swallow.
- Take smaller bites of food to begin with
- Chew slowly and steadily
- Chew until your mouthful of food is liquefied or lost all of its texture
- Finish chewing and swallowing completely before taking another bite of food
- Wait to drink fluids until you’ve swallowed
DIGESTION TIP #3 – Mindful eating
- In our society eating is now often a mindless task, often done quickly. This can be problematic since it actually takes the brain up to 20 minutes to realize you’re full
- Often we are distracted from the act of eating by being on our phones, tv or computer during the meal
- It helps us distinguish between emotional and physical hunger and how is best to nourish it.
- Mindful eating is natural, interesting, fun, and cheap.
- Express gratitude for the food in front of you
- Ask yourself why you’re eating. Are you actually hungry? Is it healthy?
- Eat more slowly and don’t rush your meals.
- Chew thoroughly (see digestion tip #2 from yesterday for more on that)
- Eliminate distractions by turning off the TV and putting down your phone.
- Focus on how the food makes you feel.
- Stop eating when you’re full.
- At family meals, you might ask everyone to eat in silence for the first five minutes, thinking about the many people who brought the food to your plates
DIGESTION TIP #4 – Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar increases production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach
- Hydrochloric acid is essential for proper digestion
- Most people have low stomach acid
- Without adequate amount of hydrochloric acid, food is not digested properly and nutrients are not properly assimilated
- Contrary to popular belief, acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are actually caused by low stomach acid. While antacids do help to alleviate the symptoms, they do not remedy the underlying cause.
- Mix 1-3 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink 15-20 min prior to each meal.
- Follow with a few sips of water to prevent the acid from affecting tooth enamel and irritating esophagus.
- Choose raw and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
DIGESTION TIP #5 – Fermented Foods for Gut Health
What are fermented foods?
Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation. Food is left to sit and steep and in the process, the natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. The fermentation process preserves the food for longer period of time and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.
- To get healthy dose of good bacteria, it is essential to consume probiotic foods
- Helps to create a protective lining in the intestines and shields it against pathogenic factors, such as salmonella and E.coli.
- Lead to increase of antibodies and a stronger immune system
- Help to regulate the appetite and reduce sugar craving
- Help treat Candida
- Protect against microbial infections
- Very cost effective way to get many different strains of probiotics
- It is relatively easy to make fermented foods at home, but they are also available to purchase from health foods stores, farmers markets, and some grocery stores.
- Choose the ones that have been fermented using only salt and water (NO vinegar!)
- Must be raw, unpasteurized
- If you’re new to fermented foods, start with half a cup per day and build up from there.
And most importantly, enjoy your meal!
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